September 15, 2014
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What’s to gain with longer runway?

To the Editor:

If this sounds familiar, well I wrote a letter like this some five or six years ago. Sadly, nothing much has changed. The people of Rhode Island still want non-stop flights to the West Coast. I assume this means San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles and San Diego.

So again, I checked our two other airports in New England with 10,000-foot runways and otherwise similar in size to T.F. Green (Bradley International and Manchester, New Hampshire). I was shocked; the Manchester airport goes as far as Las Vegas and Phoenix, and the Hartford airport lists non-stops to Las Vegas. Neither lists non-stops to the West Coast, and T.F. Green goes non-stop to Las Vegas, as they do. People, check the schedules; you will only see Logan (in New England) provides non-stop service to the West Coast.

Yes, we can supply temporary construction jobs and probably money in the pockets of some powerful Rhode Island politicians, but sadly one fact is the further destruction of wetlands and the city of Warwick. Also stated on a cheap fare website, which I will not name, “non-stop flights are always more expensive compared to direct or connecting service flights.” So where is the gain?

Smaller East Coast cities will never get non-stop flights to the West Coast. It is simply too costly to the airlines, so they will continue to ferry the passengers to their hubs. Sure, our fantasy dreams will keep us wishing for easier travel to the coast, but I also dreamed for a Bruins Stanley Cup – it took 39 years.

One fact the larger runway will bring is larger freight shipping planes to T.F. Green, since these flights would be more profitable to the likes of UPS, FedEx and others.

Yes, we are called NIMBYS, but the longer runway will result in nothing changed other than more negatives. Just take the drive or the train or the bus to Logan for non-stops. Perhaps a doubling of the population in Rhode Island will get the airlines’ attention, but with our tax and spend problems, we all know better. On that note, just leave Rhody when you see those precious flights…

Martin Kalagian
Warwick


Comments
4 comments on this item

I also wrote about this same subject...amazing how the facts are ignored by everyone including the FAA!

It's all about the increase in freight...

The runways at Green are substandard and too short even if nonstop flights to the West Coast are not in the immediate future. Planes often stop today with maximum braking and roaring reverse thrust to stop before the pavement ends. Likewise, takeoff requires "pedal to the metal" full throttle to lift off from runways built for the Electras and Convairs of yesteryear. Factor in poor weather, slippery conditions and the parameters tighten up still more. This project should have been completed years ago for longer flights to whatever destination, never mind just the West Coast as well as for proper loading and safe operation of flights Green has right now. Should we tell business executives here in Rhode Island to just and those that may be looking from the outside at this state for future development to, as the author suggests to "just drive take the train or bus to Logan"? They might as well move their businesses there as well and accelerate the withering of Rhode Island. NIMBYS, indeed.

Hey Latitude41 - I thought most planes landing at Green can easily do it in three to four thousand feet? Don't forget every flight to LasVegas has a backup airport, probably LAX in Los Angeles - 200 miles further down the road from LasVegas.

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